The Minnesota Marine Art Museum (MMAM) in Winona has been awarded a prestigious arts access grant by the Minnesota State Arts Board to continue and expand MMAM’s popular Second Saturdays program in 2019. Based on the success of the 2018 series, welcoming over 4,000 visitors across eight Saturdays, MMAM staff wrote a grant application seeking expansion of the program, which is aimed at co-curating programs with the community. The highly competitive grant process encourages arts organizations across the state to invest in programming that creates long-term engagement between arts organizations and their communities. The 2018 grant funded eight Second Saturday events over the course of the year; the 2019 series will span 11 months beginning on February 9 and running monthly through the end of the year.
Second Saturdays allow visitors to experience the museum for only $1 admission while providing a variety of added programming based on a central theme. Some themes in the 2018 series included “Women in Art,” “The Mighty Mississippi,” and “Color.” Programming has included museum tours, artist demonstrations, Mississippi River tours on the Winona Tour Boat, a live eagle viewing with the National Eagle Center, art-making projects, live music, and an intergenerational dance, to name a few.
“I am most looking forward to seeing some of the first-time visitors who came to Second Saturdays in 2018 return for 2019,” said MMAM Curator of Education Heather Casper. “I love that this program makes it more accessible for anyone to visit the museum and get an injection of happiness through amazing artworks, fun activities, live music and smiling faces.”
Engage Winona collected valuable feedback during the 2018 series, which has allowed MMAM to identify some of the key barriers that may be preventing local people from visiting the museum, such as cost, transportation, language or disability, so that MMAM may adapt and better serve the community. In addition to providing low cost, accessible programming to Winona residents, Second Saturdays has provided funding for artists, musicians, presenters and local business. Increased funding for 2019 allows MMAM to hire a limited term employee to manage the program.
“We listened and considered feedback when putting together this application for 2019,” said MMAM Executive Director Nicole Chamberlain-Dupree. “We look forward to continuing to serve and engage our fellow Winonans through these Second Saturdays arts access days in 2019.”
Founded in 2006, the Minnesota Marine Art Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit arts organization with the mission to engage visitors in meaningful visual arts experiences through education and exhibitions that explore the ongoing and historic human relationship with water.